The Burning Essentials

About Burning Man

The Burning Essentials

If you take anything away from reading this Survival Guide, it should be these things:

1. THE TEN PRINCIPLES: Our community’s ethos is built on the values reflected in the Ten Principles, a set of commonly understood values that have arisen out of the history of the Burning Man experience: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy.

2. PARTICIPATE: Unlike many traditional festivals, Burning Man is an entirely participant driven event. Burning Man’s participants make Burning Man what it is. YOU are responsible for your experience in Black Rock City. No spectators!

3. LEAVE NO TRACE: No trash receptacles are provided. Please take everything you bring to the event back home with you: pack it in, pack it out – every last tiny scrap. Clean up as you go! Nothing goes in the portable toilets except human waste and 1-ply toilet tissue. Do not deposit garbage in neighboring towns or along the highway – use only designated disposal sites. Learn more about Leave No Trace here.

4. COMMERCE: You cannot buy or sell anything. Black Rock City is a place of sharing and free exchange within a gift economy. There are two exceptions: our Café, which sells coffee drinks and a few other beverages as a public service, and Arctica which sells ice as a matter of public safety. For more info read about Community Resources and Commerce & Concessions.

5. CARS: Black Rock City is designed for pedestrians and bicycles. Except for public agencies, specially-marked Black Rock City department service vehicles, and vehicles licensed by the Department of Mutant Vehicles, NO cars, motorcycles, motor-scooters, ATVs, golf carts or go-carts are allowed to drive in our city or on the open playa around it. See Getting Around.

6. PERSONAL SAFETY: The Black Rock Desert is a harsh and challenging environment; come prepared to confront and be responsible for your own survival. Nights on the playa are dark — stay safe: illuminate yourself, your bike, and your artwork at night. Acquaint yourself with the Personal Survival Checklist.

7. FIRE GUIDELINES: Fire safety is essential. All participants using fire effects or burning their artwork must follow our Fire Art Safety Guidelines. All structures must be 20 feet from any burning thing or burn barrel. Aerial flares, rockets, explosives, fireworks, straw and hay bales are prohibited in Black Rock City. No fires of any kind are allowed on the unprotected playa surface. Learn more about our Fire Guidelines here.

8. SOUND: Large-scale Sound Art Zones are located along the 2 & 10:00 streets at the far ends of our settlement. Within the city the maximum power amplification is 300 watts, producing no more than 90 decibels at 20 feet. Be thoughtful of your neighbors. Mutant Vehicles with sound systems must follow the Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy. If a problem with sound levels continues after sufficient warning, the device or system will be disabled.

9. LAWS: Burning Man takes place on public land, and is thus subject to all federal and local laws. Several law enforcement agencies patrol Black Rock City, and you risk being cited and/or arrested if you are caught breaking the law. Burning Man does not promote or condone the use of illegal drugs. Familiarize yourself with Law Enforcement here.

10. PUBLIC BOUNDARIES: Camping is only allowed within Black Rock City’s established streets and in the Walk-In Camping area. No camping is allowed on the open playa in the middle of our city (which is reserved for works of art) or in the BLM-established buffer zone on the playa around Black Rock City. More on this here.

11. FIREARMS: The possession of firearms (including BB guns, air rifles, or paint ball guns) within Black Rock City is prohibited.

12. TICKETS: Participants MUST purchase tickets prior to arriving at the event site – no tickets are sold at the Box Office of the event! Will Call closes on Saturday, August 31, at noon. Violation of event rules, or violent anti-social behavior, can result in revocation of your ticket and ejection from the event without refund. Our Gate opens at 6 p.m. Sunday, August 25. No one under 18 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. You are legally bound to the terms on the back of your ticket – read them!